Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Lisa Railton
on June 1, 2022

June is Pride Month, a time to honor the impact of LGBTQ individuals throughout history, including the pivotal Stonewall Uprising in 1969—a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights. It’s also a time for allies to show their love and support for the LGBTQ community.

Gaggle’s new Supporting LGBTQ Youth page features resources to help educators better understand and support students who identify as LGBTQ. Along with the latest data on LGBTQ youth mental health, this page features ways struggling students can access free, confidential help via phone, text, and online chat. We encourage educators to share these resources with their students so they’ll know where to turn for support when they need it most.  

The latest data on LGBTQ youth mental health highlights just how much these students are struggling and in need of additional support: 

  • 58% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of depression
  • 45% seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year
  • 60% of those who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it
  • 65% have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation

In addition, new data from the CDC confirms that LGBTQ youth are reporting greater levels of poor mental health than their counterparts. 76% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students as well as 69% of students who identify as other or questioning reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, compared to just 37% of heterosexual students. LGBTQ students were also more likely to seriously consider attempting suicide, with 47% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students as well as 40% of students who identify as other or questioning saying they had considered the act, versus 14% of heterosexual students. 

These students are in need of support, but many educators are placed in a difficult position and unsure how to help. Join us on Wednesday, June 22 at 3:00 PM ET for our Student Wellness Series: LGBTQ Student Challenges webinar as we dive further into this important topic. During the event, Robin McHaelen, Jeff McCoy, and Paget Hetherington will discuss ways educators can help protect and affirm students who identify as LGBTQ—during Pride and beyond.  

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